I’m guessing if you’re reading this you are not hearing about Nonviolent Communication for the first time?

If you are, then welcome.

If not, I’m very curious about how you came across NVC and what was it that aroused your interest?

My Story

I remember very clearly my first contact.

It was at a large conference (400+ people) in April 2001 about education and training. 10 years ago this month.

At the time I was a newly self-employed business trainer and I was looking to pick up some tips to make my workshops more effective.

The conference as set up with two key note presentations and a whole menu of different workshops to choose from. One of the key note presenters was Marshall Rosenberg and I confess I paid no attention to the title of his presentation; ‘Nonviolent Communication’. If I had, I probably would have chosen something else and my life would have taken a completely different path. After all, my communication wasn’t ‘violent’ so why would I need to change it in any way? And it all sounded a bit too ‘New-Age-touchy-feely’.

The presentation was informal, interactive and everything I heard touched something in me. In the space of 90 minutes I realised my existing view of the world and my interaction with the people in it was based on a way of thinking and acting that was just not serving me.

Nice, Dead Person

At one point Marshall said something like:

‘We raise our children to grow up to be nice, dead people’

He meant, I believe, in most of our societies we value politeness over empowering honesty, learn how to misread or suppress our emotions and deny our human needs.

A nice, dead person was a perfect description of who I had become at that point in my life. Learning NVC offered me (and continues to offer) a way of waking up and developing a new kind of consciousness.

Stimulating, challenging, painful at times … and rewarding.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

How did you meet NVC? What was the hook for you? What does it bring to your life?